These short yet robust, swift predators prefer open seas while limiting themselves to western and southern regions of the Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts to Rio de Janeiro, including the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. Not targeted only for sport, Blackfin Tuna (more commonly, Albacore) are extremely important to the commercial fishing industry. A highly migratory species, Blackfin Tuna prefer to school in more temperate waters during summer months, while remaining most accessible near the coast of Florida during other seasons.
White on bottom and dark along the upper back ridge, this fish exhibits a faint pattern of vertical bars along the dorsal and lateral regions. They have football shaped bodies, with slight yellow coloration on the sides and finlets. Relatively larger eyes and smaller pectoral fins distinguish them from other tuna. One of the smaller species of Tuna, the Blackfin is small and compact, frequently taken at sizes of less than two feet in length, and approaching seven pounds. The largest Blackfin Tuna ever caught weighed 45 pounds, eight ounces.
Blackfin Tuna stick to clean water and warm temperatures. They commonly school with other species, like the Skipjack Tuna, and thus compete for common prey, such as smaller fish, squid, shrimp, and crabs. These swift, open sea predators feed by straining such meals from the water, or engulfing it whole. Quick and agile, these fish remain alert and wary of their chief predators, the Blue Marlin and Mahi Mahi.
Highly sought after for taste and consumption by commercial and recreational fishing industries alike, the Blackfin Tuna is also respected by anglers for its exceptional fighting ability. A truly satisfying catch, this fish rewards invested effort in countless ways; not only regarded for strength and spirtit, but also as an exceptional meal.